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Los Angeles Museums – Virtual Tour

Museums in Los Angeles 

Museums in Los Angeles – Virtual Tour

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and also known by its initials L.A., is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California. 

Nicknamed the “City of Angels,” it is known for its sunny climate, ethnic diversity, and sprawling suburbs.

Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood, a center of the American entertainment industry and one of the global leaders in the creation of motion pictures, recorded music, and television productions.

Virtual Tour of Museums in Los Angeles

Highlights Tour of Museums in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is on Museum Row, LA, and it is the largest art museum in the western United States.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art holds more than 150,000 works of art spanning the history of art from ancient times to the present.

Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum, commonly called the Getty Museum, is an art museum housed on two campuses: the Getty Center and Getty Villa.

The Getty Center is in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, and the collection features Western art from the Middle Ages to the present.

The museum’s second location is the Getty Villa, which is located in the Pacific Palisades or Malibu neighborhood and exhibits art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

In 1974, J. Paul Getty opened a museum in Malibu, California, by 1982, the museum became the richest in the world when it inherited US$1.2 billion.

In 1997, the museum moved to its current location in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles; the Malibu museum renamed the “Getty Villa,” which was renovated and reopened in 2006.

California Science Center

The California Science Center is one of the largest hands-on science centers.

It was founded in 1951 as the “California Museum of Science and Industry,” the Museum was remodeled and renamed in 1998 as the “California Science Center.” 

The California Science Center is located in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, next to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the University of Southern California. 

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is one of the largest natural history museums in the United States. Its collections include nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts and cover 4.5 billion years of history.

The museum’s mission is: “to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds.”

The museum opened in 1913 as The Museum of History, Science, and Art. The museum was later divided in 1961 into The Los Angeles County Museum of History and Science and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

The Museum eventually evolved into today’s The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County with three floors of permanent exhibits.

The museum has one of the largest collections of marine mammal remains in the world, with almost 30 million specimens in marine zoology. 

The Broad

The Broad is a contemporary art museum that houses a collection of about 2,000 artworks, featuring 200 artists. The museum includes works by Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol.

The museum was opened in 2015 and is housed in a new building designed in a bright metallic perforated exterior with a porous, “honeycomblike” surface. The building design is based on a concept entitled “the veil and the vault.”

“The veil” is a porous envelope that wraps the whole building that transmits daylight to the indoor space. This skin is made of 2,500 rhomboidal panels made in fiberglass reinforced concrete supported by a steel substructure.

“The vault” is a concrete body that forms the core of the building, dedicated to artwork storage, laboratories, curatorial spaces, and offices.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) is a contemporary art museum with two locations in greater Los Angeles, California. MOCA Downtown is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles.

MOCA Geffen is situated in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles. The museum’s exhibits are primarily of American and European art created after 1940 with a focus on multi-disciplinary contemporary art.

The MOCA Downtown Los Angeles location, which has been branded as the “MOCA Grand,” is home to almost 5,000 artworks. The works including masterpieces by classic contemporary artists, and inspiring new works by emerging and mid-career artists.

The MOCA Geffen is the largest of the museum’s locations and is suited to large-scale sculptural works and conceptual, multi-media, or electronic installations. It is typically used to display more recent works and works that require a large amount of space.

Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum is located along Museum Row in Los Angeles, and it is one of the world’s largest automotive museums. The museum’s exhibitions cover the History, Industry, and Artistry of the Automobile Industry.

The museum has over 100 vehicles on display in 25 galleries. Another half of the collection is kept in a vault located on the basement level of the building. Age restrictions and an admission fee premium are in effect to view the vault collection.

The first floor focuses on automotive artistry with a collection of extravagant automobiles. The second floor is focused on industrial engineering covering design and performance. Displays include racing, motorcycles, hot rods, and customs.

The top floor chronicles the history of the automobile with an emphasis on the American car culture.

The building’s façade features a stainless-steel ribbon assembly made of 100 tons of 14-gauge type steel and 140,000 custom stainless-steel screws.

Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is located on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. The observatory exhibits an extensive array of space and science-related displays and provides commanding views of the Los Angeles Basin.

Over 7 million people have had the opportunity to view space through the 12-inch Zeiss refractor telescope, since the Observatory’s 1935 opening.

In 1896, 3,015 acres (12.20 km2) of land surrounding the observatory was donated to the City of Los Angeles to build an observatory, exhibit hall, and planetarium on the donated land. Griffith J. Griffith’s, an industrialist and philanthropist, made the donation intending to make astronomy accessible to the public.

The observatory and accompanying exhibits were opened to the public in 1935, as America’s third planetarium. The building combines Greek and Beaux-Arts influences, and the art deco exterior is embellished with the Greek key pattern.

During World War II, the planetarium was used to train pilots in celestial navigation. The planetarium was again used for this purpose in the 1960s to train Apollo program astronauts for the first lunar missions.

Autry Museum of the American West

The Autry Museum of the American West is dedicated to exploring the history of the American West. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs across two sites.

The museum’s two sites are about 8 miles (13 km) apart. The primary site is the Griffith Park facility, and the Mt. Washington location hosts the Southwest Museum of the American Indian facility.

The Autry was established in 1988 by the actor Gene Autry as the “Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum” to share the story of the American West.

Its Griffith Park collection includes 21,000 paintings, sculptures, costumes, textiles, firearms, tools, toys, musical instruments, and other artifacts.

The museum also sponsors the “Native Voices at the Autry Museum of the American West” which is focused on producing new theatre works by Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nation playwrights since 1995.

Japanese American National Museum

The Japanese American National Museum is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Japanese Americans. The museum covers more than 130 years of Japanese-American history, dating to the first generation of immigrants.

The museum was founded in 1992 and is located in the Little Tokyo area near downtown Los Angeles, California. The museum is an affiliate within the Smithsonian Affiliations program.

The museum’s artifacts include textiles, art, photographs, and oral histories of Japanese Americans. Its collection of moving images contains hundreds of home movies in 16 mm and 8 mm made by Japanese Americans from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Activists and the Japanese-American community had organized to gain recognition of the injustice they had suffered from the federal government during World War II.

The museum has hundreds of artifacts and letters from children in internment camps. The museum was conceived as a way to preserve the positive aspects of Japanese American’s history and culture in the United States. 

The GRAMMY Museum

The GRAMMY Museum is devoted to the history and winners of the Grammy Awards. The Museum has a collection of historical music artifacts including costumes and instruments from the Grammy Awards, hand-written lyrics, records, and recordings.

The GRAMMY Museum, located in downtown Los Angeles’s L.A. Live, opened in 2008 in recognition of the Grammy Awards’ 50th anniversary.

The Museum’s collection includes music artifacts displays, interactive instrument stations, recording booths, and a Theater.

The GRAMMY Museum explores The Creative Music Process, The Art and Technology of the Recording Process, and The History of the GRAMMY Awards.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, known as The Huntington, is a collections-based educational and research institution. In addition to the library, the museum houses an extensive art collection, and the property includes 120 acres (49 ha) of botanical landscaped gardens.

The Huntington’s art collection has a focus on 18th- and 19th-century European art and 17th- to mid-20th-century American art.

The European art collection, consisting mainly of British & French paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts and is housed in the original Huntington residence.

The permanent installation also includes contains Italian and Northern Renaissance paintings and a significant collection of 18th-century French tapestries, porcelain, and furniture.

The library contains a collection of rare books and manuscripts, concentrated in the fields of British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science.

The Botanical Gardens includes 120 acres (49 ha) of botanical landscaped gardens, showcasing plants from around the world. The Huntington has a program to protect and propagate endangered plant species. 

California African American Museum

The California African American Museum focuses on the cultural heritage and history of African Americans with a focus on the western United States.

The museum hosts educational programs of lectures, workshops, programs, and activities that serve school students, museum patrons, and visitors.

The museum offers exhibition galleries, a theater gallery, a sculpture court, a conference center special events room, an archive and research library. 

The California African American Museum’s collection includes over 6,300 objects of art, historical artifacts, and memorabilia, and a research library with more than 20,000 books and other reference materials.

The permanent collection includes paintings, photographs, sculptures, and artifacts representing the contributions of African Americans.

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust was founded in 1961 by Holocaust Survivors and is the oldest museum of its kind in the United States.

In 1961, a group of holocaust survivors began meeting to discuss their personal experiences, the importance of commemorating their lost relatives and friends and educating future generations about the Holocaust.

They each possessed valuable primary sources, such as photographs, artifacts, documents, and memories, and decided that these objects needed a sanctuary for documentation, preservation, and education.

The Museum moved into its award-winning permanent home in 2010. The physical building is integrated into the surrounding park landscape.

The architecture of the main building is designed to immerse the visitor in the horror and darkness of the Holocaust, as the ceilings are lower and the rooms darker in the galleries focused on the concentration camps.

Los Angeles Museums

      • City:                        Los Angeles
      • Country:                 United States
      • State:                      California
      • County:                   Los Angeles
      • Pueblo:                   1781
      • Incorporated:         1850
      • Named for:             Our Lady, Queen of the Angels
      • Population:             4 million

Museums in Los Angeles Map

Top 6 Museums to Visit in Los Angeles

11 Totally Free Los Angeles Museums

A Tour of Museums in the USA

The Broad Museum, Los Angeles

Art Trip: Los Angeles | The Art Assignment

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – California Science Center, Los Angeles, California


” Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin


Photo Credit: BDS2006 at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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